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Home » Essential Empy & HumorMarch 2006 » Support Groups See Upsurge in Numbers

Support Groups See Upsurge in Numbers

With the departure of sports icons Adam Vinatieri and Bronson Arroyo, support group facilitators throughout New England have seen a marked increase in attendance by bereaved fans.

“Usually there’s a slight increase around the time of Spring Training or when the Patriots do their annual salary dump,” said Shelly Lazaro, a facilitator of numerous Boston area support groups. “This year it has been almost untenable,” Lazaro continued. “We thought Johnny Damon’s departure was going to be the peak of intake, but we’re accruing more people than we can currently accommodate.”

Samantha Tearce, owner and administrator of the Vinatieri fan site “Adam’s the Apple of My Eye,” said her web traffic had tripled as word of the clutch placekicker’s departure spread. “As soon as I heard I set up a guestbook for fans to post their memories of Adam, but it became clear that some fans needed more assistance to endure this trying time. I linked to Shelly’s support group service. She and her staff have been an absolute godsend.”

Lazaro initiated several player-specific groups to oblige the needs of the public and coordinated the groups for larger gatherings. “I thought it would be good for the lovers of different sports to come together to explore their emotions in the aftermath of their loved ones’ leaving.”

“Those combined groups were so awesome,” exclaimed Trina Dugmore, a former Damon constituent who crossed over to Arroyo upon the center fielder’s departure to the Yankees. “I had no there were so many football and hockey hotties until I met with the other groups. There were even some Joe [Thornton] and Sergei [Samsonov] fans that were totally cool and taught me how to cope with serial departures. Now I’m a triple threat!”

“I know there’s some big stereotype that a good-looking player has only female fans,” said a long-time member of Sevier’s fan forum who asked to remain anonymous. “But that’s just what it is: a stereotype.” Holding back tears, Bedgegood commented shakily, “I made around $3,000 in the Super Bowl against the Rams. But it’s not just about the money to me. I stuck with the team and Adam even though the odds on the Patriots got shorter and the payoff smaller. It’s what true fans do.”

Devotees of Bronson Arroyo are particularly irked because he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Wily Mo Peña after signing a “hometown discount” contract with the Red Sox. Unlike Damon and Vinatieri who were free agents who chose to pursue bigger contracts with rival teams, Arroyo signed the deal with the hope to remain on the Red Sox. The right-handed pitcher appeared genuinely saddened to have to leave the city that embraced him. When interviewed about the trade, Arroyo said “[We’re] just pieces on the freaking board.”

Pamele Trehint, although an ardent Arroyo follower, took the trade in stride. “Dude, I’m so understanding the deal with sports being a business these days. It’s annoying, but I just take out my frustrations by writing. I have this humor piece I’m working on--Top Ten Things Bronson Arroyo Will Do in Cincinnati to Feel Better.” According to Trehint, number eight in the list is “Get a Sharpie® and write “Sox” after “Reds” on his unis” and number three is “Pretend Adam Dunn is Big Papi, only taller, heavier, and slugs less. And doesn’t smile as big.”

But other fans in the Arroyo support group take umbrage to Trehint’s easy-going attitude. “It’s just plain betrayal by the front office,” said Eddie Kretz. “Everyone likes to point out how greedy players are, but when a club doesn’t honor loyalty, no one’s busting down John Henry’s doors for quote about how he pinches pennies.”

Lazaro remarked on the passions of the sports buffs of the area, saying, “I thought it was rough during the championship drought, but now people are unnaturally fixated on individual players who were on title-winning teams. We encourage them to reach out to friends, family members, and the new players on their teams. We don’t have to go through this alone.”

“And now with this Juan González incident,” continued Lazaro, “I’m going to need to add even more resources.”


I saw that top 10 list as well. My favorite:

#4: Changing his paycheck into singles and sleeping on a big pile of money.

How could you forget:

6. Enter karaoke contests at Drigley's On the Beach.

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